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by Edd Vick

Satan came to supper last night. There's nothing peculiar about that, or in his usual feeble stab at getting me and the missus to make a deal. Once we get past what he calls 'the formalities' he's a pretty good guest. We take what we can get--ain't many people around here we care to have to supper.

Philippa starts with the soup, rabbit with leeks. There's only a hint of hare from the rabbit I shot last week, but it's rich enough. Satan smacks his lips. "That's fine, just fine. You added rosemary, didn't you?"

"You know," he says. "I couldn't help noticing your herb garden is, well, let's say small. I could furnish you with considerably more space. I could offer, oh, that patch over there." He gestures out the window at Mount Buffalo-Runs-Over-Cliff silhouetted against the evening clouds.

We laugh it off as always. We've got enough growing space for the two, sometimes three, of us.

Over fried chicken and corn on the cob we dissect local politics, rightly guessing which ninety percent of the school board is in Satan's pocket. He does surprise us by saying that Ferd Tucker down to the feed store is on the side of the angels. Ferd talks so all-fired religious we just take it for granted he's going straight to Hell, do not pass Go.

Philippa brings out the cherry cobbler. The Devil tries to compliment her on it, but she tells him it's from Winn-Dixie. We talk on about one thing and another over cigars on the porch, until he brings up the usual subject just as the last flicker of light winked out in the west.

"Join me," he says. "I like ruling down under, but I'd rather take over up top." He looks to the sky, but it's not the first stars of the night he's looking at. He's looking at Heaven, torn six ways from Sunday.

Rebellions make refugees. God's got plenty of angels and Satan's got his, but there's plenty more besides.

I shake my head. That's all it takes.

Like I said, 'the formalities'. Once we get past them he's okay.

Satan spreads those beautiful wings of his. I spread my own to see him home.


This is Edd's 50th story for The Daily Cabal.

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